Short Story: Journey to the Big Apple

The dim, tiled tunnel seemed to snake on for miles, though it was only three and a half miles long. Anticipation burned like a fire blazing erratically inside me, longing passionately to be reunited with the city I love. I looked out of the front of the coach bus, waiting eagerly to see the light that would signify the end of a decade since I have been to New York City and the beginning of my journalism career.

When, at last, the bright light of the sun appeared, I gasped, unable to contain my excitement. As we left the tunnel, I suddenly felt small. Buildings towered high above us, 13, 14, 30 stories high. They certainly were taller than the two-story buildings in Jonesville, Pennsylvania. There were seas of people all over the place, all gathered tightly together, making me feel claustrophobic just looking at them.

As we entered Times Square, my eyes feasted on the bright lights that sparkled, even in broad daylight. I ran to the front of the bus as quickly as my feet could carry me and jumped off, ready to begin my journey. I took a deep breath, inhaling the delicious scents of hot dogs and sausages fuming from street vendors. I looked up and admired the glittery sphere that was the ball that drops each New Year.

I quickly remembered that I had to grab my suitcase from the bottom of the bus. I scurried back. “Sorry, I got a bit carried away with excitement,” I said to the bus driver.

“It’s okay,” he smiled. “It happens all the time. Enjoy the city.” I thanked him for everything and stepped away to allow others to grab their belongings.

My phone let off a singular vibration in my right jeans pocket. “Hey, are you in New York yet?” the text read as I remembered that I was supposed to text my roommate, Andrew, from the Lincoln Tunnel.

“Just got here,” I replied. “I’ll meet you in front of the Hard Rock.”

“Sounds good,” he said. “See you in a few. Our apartment is right nearby!”

I waited eagerly to meet my roommate and fellow intern at The New Yorker. I had read every single copy of the magazine since I was 16. My parents bought me my first copy for my birthday, knowing how much I wanted to be a magazine journalist, and I was hooked. They decided to buy me a subscription every year for my birthday.

Five minutes passed and I saw a familiar face. His wavy, brown, shoulder-length hair bounced with every step he took. His hands were in his black and gray jacket pockets. I only knew him from his picture, but we had chatted so much online that I felt a connection. “You must be Chloe,” he said. “I’m Andrew.”

“Hi, yes,” I replied, leaning in to reciprocate his hug. “How was your flight?”

“It was long,” he sighed. “Our flight was so delayed, but I’m happy to be here now. I can’t wait to show you the apartment.”

“I can’t wait to see it,” I gushed. “Let’s go!” We took off through the busy streets of Manhattan. He pointed out things he had already seen since he had been in the city for a few days already. As much as I loved walking the streets of the Big Apple, it was easy to point out the tourists, who walked slowly and held up traffic to take pictures of everything.

At last, we made it to our apartment. It was spacious, each of us having our own room. I plopped down on our big, red sofa and sighed. “We’re here,” I exhaled.

Ashley Paskill

Ashley Paskill

Ashley Paskill is a journalism major at Temple University. She has written for a number of publications such as the Odyssey, Her Campus, and the Temple News. She is currently finishing up a semester internship at the Metro Philadelphia as an editorial internship. In her free time, she serves on the leadership at her church.